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If you stop by and visit Salem Bible Church, you may notice the cornerstone on our old Chapel building dates back to 1873. But, did you know, according to our church history, that Salem Bible Church exists because a pastor in the 1860’s continued spreading the gospel even when it went against what church organizations were insisting he preach?
Back in 1868 the group that would become Salem was meeting in the facility of The Union church. Pastor Croll, who had been the pastor for 6 years at the time, was told he could no longer preach because his faith went against “church rituals”. Yet, he kept preaching the gospel.
One Sunday morning, he got to church and found that the locks had been changed and he was no longer allowed to preach in the building. The parishioners that chose to follow him went across the street and heard a message on salvation that Pastor Croll taught from a large rock. After that the group met in a local barn. The group continued to use the barn for 4 years until they moved into this building in 1873 and it became known as Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In the 1940’s Salem became Salem Bible Church and really began to grow. By the 1970’s SBC had outgrown the Chapel building and the congregation built the new larger building on the same property. In the late 1970’s Salem Christian School, a PreK -12 School, was added.
From the beginning Salem Bible Church has existed to spread the Gospel to the community and world around it. To quote Curt Brendlinger’s report on the history of Salem:
“The historical record reveals quite conclusively that Salem’s origin is based more on the Rock that is Jesus Christ our Savior, than on the rock that became our first pulpit. Our roots are entwined in an E-van-gel-listic movement that brought confrontation and division to numerous churches during the period following the Civil War.”
Salem has an amazing history. For almost 150 years, God has used this group of people and these facilities as a light on the mountain shining brightly to the community around it.
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